It boggles the mind that a creature could have trod so long ago on this very spot! Something with 3 toes! The American southwest is full of delightful surprises like this. It makes me feel small and insignificant in the vast scheme of time. But Christmas reminds me that I am a child of the King of kings. I was important enough for God Himself to step down from His throne to become a human baby; to come to all of us to save us all from our self-made miserable little lives. Merry Christmas and thank you, thank you to my heavenly Father for the best gift of all, Jesus, Emmanuel, God-with-us!Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
I was extremely fortunate – good timing and pricing on my side – to acquire a full human skeleton recently. As a massage therapist and massage therapy educator I have been a student of human anatomy for many years now. I thought I knew my stuff.
But now I have spent a few hours with this specimen because it was very dusty and in need of cleaning. As I swiped over much of the surfaces of these bones with a swab soaked in hydrogen peroxide, I had a chance to fully examine a real skeleton from head to toe.
I am humbled by the real thing. These bones are such beautiful natural sculptures. They are so much more intricate than any copy I’ve studied before. It’s hard not to be moved in some fundamental way.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 2 so far )
Here is the screen on my Kindle for recently blocked Youtube videos – showing its dark gray speckles. I have an email in to Amazon to confirm this was intentional, but as of today, I am not allowed to view any video on Youtube on my Kindle that talks about a certain topic. That is, until I found the wonderful geeks (God love the geeks!) online who will tell you how to get the real Youtube app on your Kindle where YOU decide what to watch without any screening by Amazon. No matter what your views on individual Youtube video topics, I think you should find this censorship by Amazon alarming.
Years ago, as a second grade teacher in a local elementary school, I had a book on Egyptian mummies in my class. It explained how the ancient Egyptians pulled the brain through the nostrils with long metal hooks to embalm separately from the body in jars. Maybe you can imagine how popular this book was with 8 year old boys. It was difficult reading, not really 2nd grade level, but because of its enormously interesting content, every boy in my class and quite a few girls too, were scrambling to get their hands on this book and decipher this fascinating information. This was a reading teacher’s dream come true, because the motivation was strong to overcome the difficulty in actually decoding the words.
Then one of the boys’ mother came in to complain. She didn’t want her son reading this book. I said, “No problem. He won’t have access to the book. Your choice.” Noooooo…..this was not good enough. She wanted the book removed from my classroom stating, “No one needs to know this information.”
Whoa there. You have just stepped beyond valid parental authority to making a decision for other people (about historical knowledge no less) and that is where I draw the line. Even in second grade. Thankfully the principal backed me up and the book stayed on my shelf and now it was even more desirable!
Does Amazon really think they can play overzealous Mama to the American public? And even if they have aims to change the U.S. law, do they think by turning off my ability to watch a video this will somehow be accomplished? What a thought. Big Brother Amazon sets out to rule the nation by restricting information. Infuriating!! Many thanks to the wonderful people at H2 Tech Videos for getting me a fix for this most irritating instance of censorship.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
I have wanted to draw more and use my kettlebells at least once a week. So the time? Where does it come from? I’m going to try to get it from less blogging and time on facebook. Also less shopping. I find drawing about the most relaxing activity, but it does take effort, probably more than those other things that have been eating up my time. Once I start, though, I’m absorbed so that’s the trick. For now I’m going to try drawing on the days I don’t exercise. That block of time will be for one or the other. I’m going to see how it goes.
This deer needs a lot of work, but I see them almost daily very close to the house so I get some great shots of them from which I can work. Since the landscape is pretty bleak right now they add some interest. I love their ears!
By the way, the kettlebells have been used 2 weeks in a row. Today was the first day for drawing in 2014. We’ll see how long it lasts!Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
No one wants to talk about resolutions this year. I think it’s because many people have made them and promptly broken them. People who work out at clubs can tell you that for 3-4 weeks beginning in January the places are jammed, but then, thankfully, all the newbies go back to their normal inactive lives.
The brink of a new year makes us think about ways to improve our lives. We imagine a leaner, healthier, more creative, happier new year. We make goals and begin to follow through on them. And then we just forget about it until next year. Why? Don’t we really want to have that life that we envision for ourselves? Then why don’t we do it?
I’ll tell you: all these resolutions are actually activities. Activities take time. You cannot just do more without giving up something that presently takes your time. So, every resolution has to have a positive and a negative; that is, they have to say what you will do more and what you will do less! Let’s try it out…
In 2014, I resolve to exercise for at least 30 minutes 3x per week AND shop for great deals at TJMaxx not more than 1x per month.
I do think it is unrealistic that you’ll give up entirely something useless that you do enjoy, but you get the idea. I think the resolution has to have 2 parts and then you probably have to hold yourself accountable with a chart that lives in the car. Record the date you went to the store for that month so you don’t forget. Also make a written record of your workouts. It does reinforce that you are being successful.
I also think that when people make too many resolutions they are dooming themselves to failure. You are not going to quit smoking, lose weight, start exercising, learn to cook healthy, stop yelling at your kids, and clean the house more all at once! I suggest picking 1 that you’d really like to conquer. That will be a huge accomplishment when you really incorporate it into your life for good. Pick the one that you’ve been wanting for the most time. Once you get that one under control you will have started a snowball to attempt the others one at a time.
I’d be interested to know how your resolutions work out this year, especially if you use any of my suggestions! Peace and prosperity, health and longevity, love and learning for all in 2014!Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
As we travel around we find many fellow travelers who are friendly and enjoying their trips as much as we do. We also occasionally come upon what we term the Ugly American who makes us ashamed to come from the same place.
I think you are an Ugly American traveler if:
1. You expect to be able to have everything just as you like it at home. (“We insist on American-style coffee, not this espresso-stuff they drink here.”) If you even try unusual local food/drink you expect it to be unpalatable, or something that will make you sick.
2. You get angry that there are other people trying to travel too. You are surprised and irritated when you have to wait in line, share a table, or tolerate a crowd at an important attraction.
3. You look at people’s customs, dress, and language with disdain. You see nothing but inferiority everywhere you look.
4. You expect everything to go perfectly smoothly. When the inevitable disruption to your plans happens, you wallow in self-pity instead of finding a way to make lemonade out of lemons.
5. You are frightful of local people, expecting them to rob you when they have the first chance.
6. You are actually happy when you see McDonald’s, Starbucks, and the like in foreign countries.
When we run across Ugly Americans we try to slink away. They want co-conspirators, though, so there have been times we’ve tried to show them the bright side. Aren’t the differences in culture they are experiencing interesting? Haven’t locals been friendly and helpful considering how many tourists traipse through their area every season? Isn’t it amazing to see such wonderful, world-famous art/mountains/historical sites?
Trust me, there is no arguing Ugly Americans out of their mindset. Next time I might just say, “You should stay home.” That is the truth. If you can’t enjoy the differences between your destination and your home, then you should stay there, at home. If the food, drink, accommodation, weather, sights, people and transportation are irritating to you, why have you come at all?! You are not enjoying it and your fellow travelers are ashamed of you.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 9 so far )
Mountains make me contemplative. They are so massive with soaring heights of rock and plunging valleys. Their skies hold wild winds and clouds. I can understand the logic in putting a tiny church right here. A quiet and small place to retreat and commune with the Creator of all this. Lovely.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
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